ISLAMABAD – Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaarul Haq Kakar has directed the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to take up the matter related to reports about sexual assault against Dr Aafia Siddiqui in American custody with the US State Department.
It was revealed by Foreign Office Spokesperson Mumtaz Zahra Baloch during a regular press briefing, saying the statements regarding Aafia Siddiqui are of serious nature.
The development comes after her lawyer claimed that the Pakistani neuroscientist, who remains in American prison for around 20 years on terrorism charges, suffered sexual assault twice.
The 51-year-old, who was sentenced to 86 years in prison, was subjected to sexual assault twice during detention, his lawyer said days after the second reunion of the Siddiqui sisters.
Aafia’s lawyer Clive Stafford Smith told a Pakistani media house that Islamabad was aware of heinous incidents, and said his client told him about the ordeal she suffered during the detention.
Mr Stafford also claimed that a complaint was registered against the sexual assault incident, but lamented no proceedings on it. He said Dr Aafia was first sexually harassed in Afghanistan’s Bagram detention as part of a coercive interrogation technique.
He further mentioned that Siddiqui continued to face physical and mental torture during the detention.
Earlier this week, Aafia Siddiqui had the second meeting in 20 years with her sister Fowzia at a prison hospital in Fort Worth, Texas. The meeting continued for more than 40 minutes in which Senator Talha Mahmood and Aafia Siddiqui’s lawyer were also present.
Pakistani currency remains largely stable against US dollar in the open market on February 27, 2024 (Tuesday).
In the open market, the US dollar was being quoted at 279.4 for buying and 282.3 for selling.
Euro currently stands at 303 for buying and 306 for selling while British Pound rate stands at 351.5 for buying, and 355 for selling.
UAE Dirham AED hovers at 76 whereas the Saudi Riyal saw slight increase, with new rates at 76.7.
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